Thursday, May 26, 2011

I want to pull my head above water long enough to let you know about a couple of books...

I have a chapter, "Raising a Ruckus with CODEPINK" in the powerful new collection The 21st Century Motherhood Movement: Mothers Speak Out on Why We Need to Change the World and How to Do It", edited by Andrea O'Reilly of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement. I was a keynote speaker at MIRCI's recent conference on Motherhood, Activism, Advocacy, Agency in Toronto, and was so inspired and empowered by the voices of mothers coming together to make a difference. This book is an amazing compilation of the profound work mothers are doing around the globe to ensure a better future for the world our children will inherit.

I recently blurbed another incredible book about women, this one Moon Tides; Jeju Island Grannies of the Sea by Brenda Paik Sunoo. If you've read my novel The Book of Dead Birds, you are aware of the women divers on Jeju Island; the haenyeo are a dying breed, and this book explores their lives with such beauty and deep respect. I wish it had existed as I was researching my novel! It's funny--about a year ago, a friend sent me a link to some of the photos from the book, and I recognized the name of the photographer/author--we had gone to graduate school together! Brenda herself contacted me a few months later and asked if I might consider writing a blurb for the book; such a small world. Here is my endorsement: "With a compassionate eye and a generous heart, Brenda Paik Sunoo has beautifully captured the fascinating, dwindling world of the haenyeo. I am grateful she has given voice to these 'grannies of the sea' and their powerful, moving stories. Dive into this book and prepare to be amazed."

I've also been wanting to let you know that I am the fiction judge this year for the Tiferet Journal Writing Contest. Alicia Ostriker is the poetry judge and Josip Novakovich is judging non-fiction. Deadline is June 1st (which would have been my mom's 72nd birthday)--enter soon; I'd love to read your work!


Donna said...

Yay! I loved the diving in The Book of Dead Birds. What a coincidence that your friend was involved in the new book.

gayle said...

Isn't that so cool?! :) I love what a small world it is (although not nearly small enough at the same time--I haven't seen you in way too long, Donna. I hope our paths will cross soon.) Love to you! oxox